This was the NHL equivalent of the “Bring out your dead” scene from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” with the Red Wings playing the part of the old man crying out, “I’m not dead yet!”
Detroit had to sweat out all 60 minutes Friday night after coughing up a 3-0, first-period lead. Darren Helm’s goal off an incredible pass from Patrick Eaves with 1:27 to go in the third gave the Wings a Game 4 win and kept Detroit alive for Game 5 in San Jose Sunday night.
The Wings looked like they might roll through Game 4, just as they did last year when facing a 3-0 deficit against the Sharks. Todd Bertuzzi gave Detroit an early lead, then Nick Lidstrom tacked on a pair of goals — the second on the power play — to extend the edge to 3-0.
Bertuzzi’s goal may have been the best of the night, a spin-o-rama backhander that deflected past Antti Niemi.
Lidstrom’s second goal was an incredible display, too. The veteran defenseman controlled a bouncing pass from Henrik Zetterberg with his skate, then swatted the puck out of midair for a slap-shot goal.
As we’ve seen time and time again versus the Sharks, though, the Wings couldn’t hold a lead. Logan Couture made it 3-1 late in the first period, then Dan Boyle pulled San Jose within one in the second. And when Dany Heatley scored at 1:14 of the third to knot the game at three, Detroit’s season looked to be slipping away.
But the Red Wings weathered a huge San Jose push and killed off a pair of penalties to set up Helm’s heroics.